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Little Rock Police Department announces new task force in wake of independent audit

Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey
Michael Hibblen
Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey announced Tuesday the creation of a task force after an independent review last week made recommendations.

Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey on Tuesday announced a task force will be created within the department. This came, Humphrey said, after the results of an independent review arrived last week with 80 recommendations.

“Our department hadn’t had an audit in years. And so this is really a good, good thing for our department,” Humphrey said.

The recommendations covered topics such as the LRPD’s professional standards, cultural competency, harassment, take-home vehicles, the handling of private and confidential information, and promotional processes.

The internal task force, headed by Maj. Heath Helton, is made up of nine officers that come from different divisions; three are patrol officers, and some are part of the Fraternal Order of Police or the Black Police Officers Association. The members have varying experience in training, accreditation and public information, including the Freedom of Information Act.

“So as you can see, we have a very diverse group of officers from throughout the department,” Humphrey said.

Working underneath Helton are Lt. J.C. White, Sgt. Jarrod Purifoy, Lt. Michael Ford, Sgt. Tabitha Gurley, Det. Erik Temple, and officers Lisa Nava, Katina Hatley and Timothy Pope.

Humphrey also highlighted some of the work the department has completed in order to address Little Rock’s violent crime.

In a collaborative effort with the Little Rock Drug Enforcement Agency, the department issued three different search and seizure warrants on Oct. 25. The searches uncovered 47 pounds of methamphetamine, 100 grams of fentanyl tablets, one assault rifle, and three handguns, one of which was stolen, and $50,000 seized.

Humphrey said the department was also committed to removing illegal guns, meaning ones possessed by felons, used in a crime, or that are stolen.

The police chief said “to date” the department has removed 645 illegal guns from the streets of Little Rock and arrested 437 individuals related to those weapons.

“To those in our community, we hear you. We will continue to fight to reduce violent crime and we want you to know that it takes all of us to keep our community safe,” Humphrey said.

Remington Miller was an intern at KUAR News as part of the George C. Douthit Endowed Scholarship program. She later worked as a reporter and editor for the station.